Courtesy of Alley Cat Advocates

Eartipping is an effective and universally accepted method to identify a spayed or neutered and vaccinated community cat. Here are some helpful facts that you should know about eartipping. Eartipping:

  • Shows that the cat has been spayed/neutered and vaccinated.
  • Shows that the cat belongs to a managed colony.
  • Prevents the cat from being transported for surgery a second time.
  • Prevents animal control from taking the cat to the shelter.

It is difficult to get close to a community cat, so the eartip helps to identify the cat from a distance. The following do not work well as identifiers:

  • Tattooing is not visible until the cat is sedated and shaved.
  • Eartags can cause infection, drop off, or tear the cat’s ear.
  • Collars don’t expand as the cat grows.  They can get caught on things and cause injury.  And, collars often fall off, leaving the cat unidentifiable.
  • Microchipping does not allow for visual identification.

The eartip is done while the cat is sedated for spay or neuter surgery. The ear is examined for ear mites, cleaned and treated. The tip of the ear is given a sterile scrub and ¼ inch of the ear is removed. This method of visual identification has proven to be a safe and effective method to identify and protect community cats.